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Faces of Death (1978)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Horror | 10 November 1978 (USA)
A collection of death scenes, ranging from TV-material to home-made super-8 movies The common factor is death by some means.

Director:

(as Conan Le Cilaire)

Writer:

(as Alan Black)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Michael Carr ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Samuel Berkowitz
Mary Ellen Brighton ...
Herself - Suicide Victim
Thomas Noguchi ...
Himself - Chief Medical Examiner Coroner
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Storyline

A 'mockumentary' hosted by Dr. Francis B. Gross, a coroner. He is trying to show you the different 'faces' of people while dying. There are faked scenes of people getting killed intermixed with footage of real accidents. There are executions by decapitation (in an unknown Arab country) and the electric chair. One scene shows a group of tourists in Egypt smashing a monkey's head while still alive and eating its brains. There are shots of animals eating people and Satanic orgies using dead bodies. There is a segment that deals with an alligator that accidentally entered 'residential' waters. The local warden goes in his boat to get the alligator back into the sea when he accidentally falls over and becomes gator bait. The film ends with newsreel footage of people jumping off buildings and major accidents. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WARNING: If the brutal and explicit depiction of actual death is upsetting to you, please do not view this film. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

10 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Original Faces of Death  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ranked #50 on Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time" See more »

Goofs

Numerous continuity and logic errors, casting doubt on the validity of the movie's claim to be authentic. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Francis B. Gröss: As l walked around, l was reminded of words written by the late Luther Easton. ln a world with no sound, their cries go unheard. The reality of life becomes totally absurd. The counting of time is considered a crime. And the money one earns, not worth a lone dime. So here they will lie for the rest of the night. Their bodies remain still in darkness and in light. But don't be afraid for it will happen to you. When all will stop as your body turns blue.
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Crazy Credits

Exiguous scenes within this motion picture have been reconstructed to document and further clarify their their factual origin. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Cinema Snob: Faces of Death (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Burning Soul
Written by Gene Kauer
Performed by Gene Kauer
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hard to defend and hard to dismiss...
12 July 2004 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Most people's objections to FACES OF DEATH seem to stem from the fact that the film-makers were obviously straddling the line between documentary and exploitation about as expertly as an extremely drunk driver doing the straight line test. Horribly real scenes are cut and spliced with obvious fakes, cheesy gore effects are thrown together with genuine TV footage of disembodied limbs and innards, disturbing sequences are set to inappropriate library music like Dixieland jazz or slapstick tunes. But let's face up to an uncomfortable fact. FACES OF DEATH was nothing if not trendsetting. These days, 'reality' TV shows, including British television's long-running CRIMEWATCH UK, think nothing of running dopey reconstructions alongside unsettling closed-circuit television footage and grisly crime scene photographs. This make-do-and-mend ethic is at the heart of this film, only the makers draw their own boundaries and are a lot more economical with the truth. If the opening scenes of open-heart surgery give you the dry heaves, switch off, because things get worse. We see the workings of a slaughterhouse, a seal cull, a bullfight, a chicken decapitation, the infamous (but fake) monkey brains sequence, suicide leapers, executions, rotting cadavers, post-mortems, a siege situation...you get the idea. It's all exploitative, certainly, but if your tastes run to this kind of thing - and I watched this film for the exact same reason that I watched John Waters' PINK FLAMINGOS as a teenager, to face my fear of the gross and disgusting, to experience the exhilaration of burying myself in someone else's nightmare and realizing the world won't come crashing down about my ears after all - then FACES OF DEATH should certainly satisfy your cravings. It may even change your perceptions about a few things. It's certainly bizarrely uplifting, and actually manages to be somewhat ambitious in the sheer scope of its treatment of (human, animal, environmental, moralistic, ethical) death. Approach with caution.


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